It’s happened again. In the week that Land Rover will officially unveil its new Defender, more images of the 4x4 have leaked onto the interweb. Pictures of the all-new car show it out in the wild, clambering over rocks, slicing through snow and wearing a roof rack in the forest. Those steel wheels look cool, don’t they?
The pictures look to have been pinched from an unpublished SA4X4 article onto Instagram, so the specs that they’re accompanied by are specific to the South African market. But they do appear to match the earlier stats and equipment levels leaked out back in July (and in a story below this one), with the article suggesting the launch models will be of 90 and 110 forms with up to six-cylinders under the bonnet.
That’s all for now, assuming Land Rover’s hotly anticipated model avoids further leakage before its Frankfurt showing later this week. Read on for lots more on the car...
Previous story - 27.08.2019
The inevitable has happened: just weeks before Land Rover pulls the covers of its all-new Defender in Frankfurt, an image of an undisguised car has spilled onto the internet. Spied on the set of ‘No Time to Die’, the front three-quarters of the mud-splattered Bond movie car can be clearly seen, including DC100-mimicking rectangular headlight clusters, a slim grille opening and butch wheel arches.
No feature will come as a big surprise – the number of teaser images and earlier leaks have provided us with plenty of previews for what’s due on Land Rover’s upcoming model – and the car certainly bears more than a passing resemblance to the 2011 concept its design has been based on. The Bond car looks to be the four-door 110 that’s due for launch first in October, ahead of the two-door 90 that’ll follow in March and a 130 to come in 2021.
There’s no word as to what engine the Bond movie car – posted onto shedlocktwothousand’s Instagram page – is running with. We’d hedge that it’s the P300 six-cylinder petrol, as that’s set to be the most potent motor provided to the 110 at launch. According to an earlier specification leak, the most powerful P400e hybrid isn’t out until August 2021 when the 130 arrives. For further details of that, see our earlier leak story below.
Original story - 02.07.2019
Either the Defender is part of some elaborate leak-based marketing process or those in charge of keeping its details a secret are having a pretty hard time, because the third leak in just over a week has been spotted online. And compared to the previous two (covered below), it’s considerably more substantial in what it reveals…
On what appear to be internal slides detailing the Defender’s model lifespan between its launch and 2023, the three sizes, six powertrains and eventual five trim levels are shown – and it’s detailed stuff. So much so that even without any official designs to accompany them, the specs really emphasise just how ambitious JLR is being with its all-new Defender. If genuine – and so far we’ve no reason to think the slides are not – the info posted on disco4.com shows that we’ll be given a 110 in October 2019 and a 90 in March 2020, with a larger 130 to follow in August 2021.
The slides also suggest there’ll be three diesel engines at launch, two four-pots called D200 and D240 and a six-cylinder D300, as well as a four-cylinder-based plug-in hybrid P400e. There’ll be a petrol 2.0-litre, as well, labelled P300, while it looks as though the six-pot petrol, named P400 will follow when the 130 is launched and be joined by a hybrid version called the P400e and a 3.0-litre diesel D300 for the biggest variant. All the numbers for the non-hybrids refer to their power outputs, by the way, with the hybrids adding a few hp to the total.
Interestingly, it seems that JLR will launch the Defender with three trims at first, before opening up the options list to tempt the “young, affluent, fun-seeking individuals” it has down as the target market for the 90, and “active lifestyle families” that might go after a 130. From the sketches shown, it looks as though the 130 will hide its spare wheel (we’d be surprised if it ditched one altogether), unlike the two smaller cars, which place them on the boot like the original. The 90 and 110 sketches appear to match the earlier leak of an instrument cluster image for the four-door car.
As if the string of leaks weren’t enough, JLR will dynamically demonstrate its Defender at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Don’t expect any official information for a while longer, though.
Previous story: 25.06.2019
Less than a day after an image of a new Lego set for the upcoming Defender offered us a glimpse of its new design, the digital instrument cluster of what presumably is a pre-production prototype has been papped displaying the exterior more clearly. Although the digital image is small, the all-new 4x4's boxy exterior, thick shoulder line and butch front-end are all clearly visible.
While yesterday's Lego model was for the two-door car, this image shows a four-door, illustrating how the longer wheelbase variant will get a body-coloured section between the rear-most passenger entrance and glass on the boot's side. The black section above the rear passenger row also suggests the fitment of a sunroof; a feature that's common on the rest of Land Rover's line-up but wasn't offered with the original icon.
The diameter of the five-spoke wheels and - not to get all Top Trumps on you - the speedo's inclusion of 220km/h (137mph) suggests this could be a more cooking version of the Defender. The rev counter suggests it revs to about 6,000-6,500rpm, so if we were guessing, this could be a Defender running with an Ingenium 2.0-litre petrol - and not the hot six-cylinder model that's been spotted on numerous occasions at the 'Ring.
Original story: 24.06.2019
It's surely too much of a coincidence that a new Lego set of the Land Rover Defender will go on sale at around the same time we're expecting to see the next-gen model revealed. The latest 2,573-piece Lego Technic model is due to reach shop shelves this October, sporting wide-arches and a tall front end, which just so happens to be the sort of butchness we're expecting to see in the full-sized 4x4. This means - as the internet has already decided - the Lego car is our clearest glimpse of the final design for Land Rover's 2020 4x4.
That offers the curious opportunity to 'reverse engineer' what the production car looks like from the Lego (rather than the other way round, as has happened with some of the toymaker's more wayward recreations). Frankly, in this case, some of Land Rover's test mules could actually be Lego underneath on the basis of their cladding. See how the line of the windows on the development car appear to sit further in than the outermost bodywork of the doors, as they do on the Lego model. It's definitely a higher, more prominent hip than the original Defender's. Plus, see how the B-pillars of the Lego toy look to be about the right thickness (proportionally speaking), to match those of the new 4x4. It's a far cry from the much thicker classic two-door Defender's pillars.
If our assumptions are right, it suggests that the next Defender will retain a retro design with circular headlamps - rather than going all Disco 4, as JLR's ingenious disguise has led us to believe. An earlier leak of an interior design showed what we could expect for the interior, too, although JLR has denied that the layout is one to be featured in the final car. Still, it points to a similar mix of old and new in the cabin, which would make sense.
Anyway, we've only a few months to wait until the design and technical information - including the details of a possible higher-powered six-cylinder variant - are revealed. With Land Rover working so hard to ensure its pivotal new Defender does not leak, we wonder if the listing for the Lego car will be online for much longer...